AYER -- Students and staff returning to the Lura A. White and Page Hilltop Schools this fall will notice a fresh coat of paint thanks to the Middlesex Sheriff's Office Community Works Program (CWP). A supervised team of inmates spent three weeks repainting classrooms and hallways at the two schools.

"The CWP program really benefits both our communities and our inmates," said Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. "Towns like Ayer and Shirley receive much-needed assistance on a project they may not otherwise be able to complete, and the individuals with us can get back into a routine of working every day which will better prepare them to successfully reenter society."

CWP crews are comprised of inmates nearing the end of their sentences who have completed individualized treatment plans (which may include programming for substance use disorder, education/vocational training and other needs) and have been screened and approved for participation. CWP projects are requested by municipalities, school districts, housing authorities and other similar entities and completed under the direct supervision of a correction officer.

"We have been most fortunate to have inmates from the Middlesex Sheriff's Office Community Works Program working in our schools during the past three summers," said Ayer-Shirley Regional School Superintendent Mary Malone.


"This program is excellent and it benefits the towns of Ayer and Shirley in addition to the school department. The inmates have always been polite and cooperative. The quality of their work is very good. We strongly support the CWP, which prepares the inmates for reentry into society. Sheriff Koutoujian and those who administrate this program are to be commended. It is a very well run program."

The Sheriff's Community Work Program is provided at minimal costs to towns throughout Middlesex County. Already this year crews have completed work in Chelmsford, Tyngsborough, Carlisle and 22 other communities.